Contrasting Styles of Mineralisation from the Western Arm and Bridge Creek Deposits and their Relevance to Regional Exploration in the Pine Creek Geosyncline, Northern Territory

Cooper W C, ; Stokes M A,
Organization: The Australasian Institute of Mining and Metallurgy
Pages: 0
Publication Date: Jan 1, 1994
Proterozoic gold deposits in the Pine Creek Geosyncline are at present receiving renewed attention with the opening of old mines and several new discoveries. This important polymetallic province contains occurrences of gold, base metals, tin, tungsten, tantalum, platinum, palladium and aluminium. These resources have been exploited over the past century with periods of major interest during the turn of the century and during the past 20 years. Economically viable resources of predominantly gold, eg Pine Creek, Woolwonga, Brocks Creek and Union Reefs, and Ag-Pb-Zn, eg Woodcutters are currently in development or being mined. A variety of genetic models, ranging from magmatic through hydrothermal to syngenetic, have been postulated in the past for the formation of gold deposits in the Pine Creek Geosyncline. The first discussion on the regional geological factors that control ore deposition in the Brocks Creek-Howley District was by Sullivan and Iten (1952). They recognised that the most important ore deposits are associated with anticlinal and domal structures and that granites may be a controlling factor in the localisation of the mineralisation. More recently a group of authors, Needham and Roarty (1980), Goulevitch (1980), Nicholson and Eupene (1984), Sanger-Von Oepen, Friedrich and Kater, (1988), Nicholson and Eupene (1990) and Kruse, Whitehead and Mulder (1990) have suggested an exhalitive syngenetic origin, or remobilised syngenetic during dolerite intrusion and/or regional deformation, for gold mineralisation, especially those associated with South Alligator Group lithologies (eg Bridge Creek, Mt Bonnie group of mines and Cosmopolitan Howley). Studies carried out at the Bridge Creek and Western Arm Prospects over the last three years suggest that syngenetic models for gold mineralisation are less relevant to gold mineralisation in the Howley District than first thought (Wall, 1989; Partington, 1990). The Bridge Creek prospect has been cited as an example of a syngenetic-syngenetic remobilised deposit (Oepen, Friedrich and Kater, 1988) while the Western Arm prospect is more clearly a vein hosted epigenetic deposit and a comparison of the styles of mineralisation at both prospects will be made. The nature of the gold mineralisation at both prospects will be described and compared, and possible genetic models for gold mineralisation and their relevance to regional exploration discussed.
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